At this year’s Paris Airshow [Le Bourget, June 17-23] Hexcel will promote a range of carbon fibers and composite materials used to manufacture high-performance weight- saving structures in civil aircraft, engines, helicopters, and space applications.
Visitors to the Hexcel stand will see an Integrated Wing Panel demonstrator and an I-beam, both made with HiTape® carbon fiber reinforcements. HiTape® dry carbon reinforcements were developed for the automated lay-up of preforms and to complement a new generation of HiFlow™ resin systems, producing high-quality aerospace structures using the resin infusion process. The reinforcements incorporate a toughening veil to enhance mechanical properties and meet the structural requirements for aerospace parts. The I-Beam was manufactured using C-RTM (Compression Resin Transfer Molding) and was injected with Hexcel’s RTM6 resin in a process taking less than five minutes.
Hexcel honeycomb saves weight and enhances stiffness in composite structures, and the company provides a range of engineered core solutions that enable highly contoured parts with precision profiling to be produced to exact customer specifications. A sample part made from aluminum FlexCore® that is CNC machined on both sides and formed and stabilized with both peel ply and flyaway layers of stabilization will be on display.
Another honeycomb innovation is Hexcel’s Acousti-Cap® broadband noise-reducing honeycomb that significantly improves acoustic absorption in aircraft engine nacelles. The acoustic treatment may be positioned at a consistent depth and resistance within the core or can be placed in a pattern of varying depths and/or resistances (Multi-Degrees of Freedom and 3 Degrees Of Freedom), offering an acoustic liner that is precisely tuned to the engine operating conditions. These technologies have been tested at NASA on a full engine test rig and meet all 16 design conditions without trade-offs.
Hexcel’s Booth is located next to Hexcel’s official distributor for aerospace products, Groupe Gazechim Composites. In 2018, Hexcel and Gazechim formed a joint venture, HexCut Services, to provide aerospace and defense customers with customized kitting services that include Hexcel’s innovative carbon fiber prepreg, fabrics and adhesives. Pre-cut kits save customers time and investment, reduce inventory and minimize material losses through scrap reduction.
Another Hexcel technology to benefit aircraft engines is HexShield™ honeycomb which provides high- temperature resistance in nacelles. By inserting a thermally resistant material into honeycomb cells, Hexcel provides a core product with unique heat-shielding capabilities that allows for the potential reuse of material after a fire.
With 50 years of experience behind its comprehensive range of high-strength, high-strain PAN-based carbon fibers, Hexcel continues to innovate and is introducing two new fibers to its portfolio. HexTow® HM50 combines high modulus and high tensile strength, making it ideal for commercial and defense aircraft and engines.
HexTow® 85 was developed specifically to replace rayon-based carbon fiber for ablative applications.
Another area of expertise that uses HexTow® carbon fiber is additive manufacturing, where Hexcel uses PEKK ultrahigh performance polymers and HexAM™ technology to manufacture carbon reinforced 3D printed parts. This innovative process provides a weight-saving solution for intricate parts in highly demanding aerospace, satellite and defense applications. HexPEKK™ structures offer significant weight, cost and time-to-market reductions, replacing traditional cast or machined metallic parts with a new technology.
Later this year Hexcel will open a joint research and development laboratory in Les Avenières (Isère), France with Arkema to develop carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastic prepreg tapes for aerospace, space and defense applications. A spool of thermoplastic prepreg tape will be on display on Hexcel’s stand to showcase this cost- effective technology that enables lightweight parts to be produced in faster production cycles for future generations of aircraft.
Hexcel Corporation is a leading advanced composites company. It develops, manufactures and markets lightweight, high-performance structural materials including carbon fibres, specialty reinforcements, prepregs and other fibre-reinforced matrix materials, honeycomb, adhesives, engineered core and composite structures for use in commercial aerospace, space and defence and industrial applications.
Groupe Gazechim is a leading distributor of composite raw materials throughout Europe. The Group distributes, from more than 20 countries, the full range of advanced and commodity composite materials from first-class partners and producers. It also offers supply chain solutions, technical support as well as other services such as tailor-made gel coats, honeycombs and kit-cutting capabilities.